An Election of Losers
What’s this? Party leaders hurling mud and petty insults at each other means? It must be time for another general election.
The 2015 election has been described as one of the most unpredictable elections in the history of the UK, throughout the year the question ‘who will win’ has dogged our television sets and online news outlets. Well here’s a news flash for all of you, no party is going to win this election and I going to show you why.
According to YouGov’s latest poll, Labour is projected to achieve the most seats at the general election, however they will fall short of a majority, a reality the Labour leadership seem to be ignoring as they continue to burn their best bridge to power by rejecting any chance of a coalition with the SNP. With the Liberal Democrats set to lose more seats, the SNP is about to become the UK’s third biggest party and will soon wipe out the Labour majority in Scotland that Labour has historically relied on for seats. Because of this Ed Miliband has slapped away the out stretched hand of the SNP, promising to never form a coalition with them.
On the other hand, the Liberal Democrats are the famous compromisers and have offered to work with either party, although it is unlikely that Nick Clegg will survive this election as so far he is set to loss his seat at Westminster, and due to Clegg’s toxic popularity we may see the democrats throw him under the bus anyway as a precondition for entering into power with Labour. However that is assuming that the Liberal Democrats secure enough seats to make a coalition with them viable, which at the moment is in doubt. The Lib Dems are projected to not win any new seats and instead will have to weather the storm which could see them lose most of their current strongholds, particularly in the south west. If the storm is too strong the Lib Dems could lose enough seats that they could end up being side-lined completely by any new government and cast back into the pit of small parties from whence they came.
The Conservatives, although disliked by many due to the implementation of austerity cuts, are still projected to hold a considerable number of seats, winding up with a slightly lower number than Labour. However the issue with the Conservatives is their ability to form a coalition, the closest party aligned with them politically would be UKIP. Previously Nigel Farage has refused to enter a coalition with the Tories, instead stating UKIP could support a Conservative government. But UKIP itself may be in for a disappointing turn as latest polls suggest the party is expected to gain not much more than 2 seats due to a slump in their popularity and a national spread of their support – not much use in a First-Past-the-Post system. Farage may well decide going into a coalition with the Tories is the best option. But aligning with a party made up of many former conservatives who left due to Cameron’s leadership may be too hard a pill to swallow for the PM and even then it’s doubtful that UKIP would secure enough seats for a ‘Blukip’ government to be on the table. With the SNP vowing to expel the Tories from power their options are looking incredibly slim.
The so called ‘women parties’ are all set to perform poorly as always, except the SNP which will smash the political scene in Scotland wide open. Thus making the SNP the only one of those parties which could potentially join any coalition but since the relation between the SNP and Labour, its most likely political counterpart, is so venomous it’d make a cobra blush, therefore making the Lab/SNP coalition, which Nicola Sturgeon has suggested, ever unlikely. The SNP in turn may be reluctant to accept any deal with Labour that does not see the SNP put in a position of power at Westminster, especially if they feel that such a deal has been done simply to spite them.
Meanwhile there’s the same election going on in Northern Ireland…
I know right?!
Who’d of guessed.
The biggest party projected to emerge there is the DUP, but they have stated that they will not form a coalition with either side. Finally both Sinn Fein and the SDLP are not expected to gain enough votes to justify making any deals with them.
But if each party is so adamant about not working with each other in a coalition what option does that leave? Well in that case you end up with a minority government. A party which does not rule by a majority but instead relies on a confidence and supply arrangement, meaning there could exist an informal alliance of parties that promise to jointly press through bills and policies. Labour has indicated it would be willing to do such a deal with the SNP while UKIP has stated it is prepared to form an agreement with the Tories. Meanwhile both the Lib Dems and the DUP have said that they would gladly make a deal with any major party. However such governments are notoriously weak, and are at risk of the dreaded vote of no-confidence, a dangerous situation for Ed Miliband and David Cameron, which could see either one ousted midterm because of a dip in popularity. And even then both leaders would have to rely heavily on the support of other parties, who could withdraw their support and rebel at any time if things don’t go their way.
Oh what’s that you say?
What about a Tory-Labour coalition?
Sorry my friend, keep dreaming.
So in all, no party will be capable of holding a majority and it is looking increasingly unlikely that a successful coalition can be formed without each party leader biting down hard on their own tongues. This leaves a minority government as the most likely outcome of May 7th election in my opinion, however this is certainly not the outcome that anyone was hoping for. Such a result would be especially disappointing for all parties. With no winners there are only losers.